"It is well known that the primitive Christian Gospel was initially transmitted by word of mouth and that this oral tradition resulted in variant reporting of word and deed."
RESPONSE: So different gospel writers presented the facts in slightly different ways. That does NOT mean they were contradictory.
It is equally true that when the Christian record was committed to writing it continued to be the subject of verbal variation. Involuntary and intentional, at the hands of scribes and editors" Peake's Commentary on the Bible, p. 633
RESPONSE: This is the issue of Textual Transmission. More on this later.
"Yet, as a matter of fact, every book of the New Testament with the exception of the four great Epistles of St. Paul is at present more or less the subject of controversy, and interpolations are asserted even in these." Encyclopaedia Brittanica, 12th Ed. Vol. 3, p. 643
RESPONSE: Encylopaedia Britannica a Christian source? NOT!
Dr. Lobegott Friedrich Konstantin Von Tischendorf, one of the most adamant conservative Christian defenders of the Trinity was himself driven to admit that: "[the New Testament had] in many passages undergone such serious modification of meaning as to leave us in painful uncertainty as to what the Apostles had actually written" Secrets of Mount Sinai, James Bentley, p. 117
RESPONSE: Tischendorf is referring to the odd word here or there. In the vast majority of cases we CAN be sure of what was originally written. In a few cases we cannot be sure of the exact wording, but this rarely affects the meaning, and never affects Christian doctrine. (Again, this is Textual Transmission, to be dealt with later).
After listing many examples of contradictory statements in the Bible, Dr. Frederic Kenyon says: "Besides the larger discrepancies, such as these, there is scarcely a verse in which there is not some variation of phrase in some copies [of the ancient manuscripts from which the Bible has been collected]. No one can say that these additions or omissions or alterations are matters of mere indifference" Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts, Dr. Frederic Kenyon, Eyre and Spottiswoode, p. 3
RESPONSE: I disagree. (Again, this is Textual Transmission, to be dealt with later).
The Jehovah's Witnesses in their "AWAKE" Magazine dated 8th September 1957 published the following headline: "50,000 Errors in the Bible" wherein they say "..there are probably 50,000 errors in the Bible...errors which have crept into the Bible text...50,000 such serious errors..." After all of this, however, they go on to say: "...as a whole the Bible is accurate."
RESPONSE: The Jehovah's Witnesses are a heretical sect. They disagree with the mainstream church on many, many points. They cannot be treated as a credible "Christian" source, as they are hostile to the rest of Christianity (they believe salvation is only found through the Jehovah's Witnesses).
Throughout this book you will find countless other similar quotations from some of Christendom's leading scholars. Let us suffice with these for now.
GENERAL RESPONSE: Many Muslims seem to think that if a quote can be found by a Christian scholar against some Christian doctrine, then that doctrine must certainly be wrong.
Western society (i.e. Western Europe and those populations mainly descended from Western Europe such as the USA) has been greatly influenced by Rationalism for past few hundred years. While this has had some good effects (e.g. advances in technology), there has been the bad effect that people look at everything "Rationally", i.e. without regard to the supernatural or spiritual side of things.
Sadly, this spirit has infected much of the church. This is so more so in seminaries (i.e. places that teach and study the Christian religion) than in the ordinary churches. Why? Because in some places (more so in Europe than in the USA) these seminaries have tried as hard as possible to be seen as "respectable educational institutions", and so have tried to do their study in the same way as other universities, i.e. totally "Rationally".
The result is that many scholars - yes, even Christian scholars - are taught to study the Bible "rationally". The supernatural is ruled out. The Bible is to be studied like any other book, and its history is to be studied like any other history. The idea that God might act in history is virtually ruled out from the beginning!
When this is the scholars' STARTING ASSUMPTION, of course it will be possible to find Christian scholars who make all sorts of claims against the Bible's reliability. (Such scholars would also claim the Qur'an was unreliable, by the way).
However, many (in fact, most) Christians believe such starting assmptions are wrong. We believe God can and does act in history: this belief is at the very core of Christianity!
In short: quotes of Christian scholars prove nothing unless they are backed up with hard evidence. Therefore I will not respond to such comments, but I will keep saying, "See my comments at the end of section 2.1.3!"